Sunday, April 08, 2007

Delayed gratification...a blessing and a CURSE

Hey blogopia...i know it's be a while since I last posted, but a brotha's been getting his grind on as of late. Life for me at the point is exhaustive, but fulfilling. I have a few things to gripe about but overall, I can't really complain. HOWEVER there is something I've had on my mind the past few weeks that I must share with the world...

This whole notion of DELAYED GRATIFICATION. According to, instant gratification is defined as:

"Deferred gratification or delayed gratification is the ability to wait in order to obtain something that one wants. This ability is usually considered to be a personality trait. Daniel Goleman has suggested that it is an important component of emotional intelligence. People who lack this trait are said to need instant gratification and may suffer from poor impulse control."

We've all heard the cliche phrases "Good things only happen to those who wait", "Work hard, then play hard","Be still, and the Lord shall fight your battles" (or get you a piece of steel, LOL) and many others. I believe many of these sayings hold some element of truth, however I'm finding it a BITCH to lead my life with delayed gratification.

Just about every major aspect of my life lends itself to delayed gratification. Financially, I've invested (and will continue to invest) thousands of dollars into an education that should yield job security and decent earnings in the future. In the meantime, I'm reduced to being a chronic B.A.C.S. (Broke Ass College Student). In addition to doing without financially, I sacrifice much of my social life to my educational obligations. While most of the other kids my age are out and about acting a hot sexy gay mess on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I'm lucky to even share a meal and a drink with friends.

Let's not even talk about having a love life...on second thought, let's go there.

Okay, we've established that having limited social time severely restricts my ability to actively date, search for love, hook up, or whatever. In addition to that, I'm running on the "CLINK CLINK LOCK DOWN" principle of dating. If you're unfamiliar with CLINK CLINK LOCK DOWN, you need to get into some Tyler Perry here, or here.

CLINK CLINK LOCK DOWN basically means that I'm not giving nor partaking of the D&B until I meet somebody special. A brotha that can value what I bring to the table and is willing to build something substantial before we hit the sheets. I'd rather hold off on the physical gratification until it actually means something. Needless to say that this proves very HARD to deal with, but it is what it is. I'll just have to take this time to "know myself" until the right dude comes along...sigh.

Alright there is a reason why I posted about this besides bitching about the choices I've made. My point behind this rant is this...what makes it so damn hard to delay gratification? Why does it seem like I'm going against the grain of society when I decide to wait for the greater result? Why do I feel like I'm being penalized with poverty, social isolation, and blue balls for choices that are supposed to build character and pay off in the end? Why are we as Americans (or Westerners for that matter) so hell-bent on instant gratification and "it's all about what I want, when I want it"? Why does this feel doubly true in the Black community, where it seems like what you wear and drive and how willing you are to "get down" often dictates how people perceive your appeal or success?

Please let me know if I've got it twisted. I'm secure and confident in my choices, but DAMN! Why does this mess have to feel so difficult? I know one thing though...this whole delayed gratification deal BETTER NOT be a lie...i'll be mad as hell and might have to pull my gun out my purse!

Holler back ya'll.



Anonymous said...

Delayed gratification isn't overrated. Just that society in general is trained on instant gratification, from the second you were born. Breastfeed? That takes too long. Here's instant milk. Baby food? Here's a can of Gerber. Bread? In a plastic bag. Rice? All of 5 minutes (took my mother half a day to make real rice back in Indonesia, from the dried paddy to the steaming white rice on the dinner table). So it's hard to wait for things.

It'll be worth it. Trust.

Cocoa Rican said...

Pa, your theory of delayed gratification is a noble one, but I don’t believe delayed gratification is intended to govern all aspects of your life. True, you’re not a crack-whore college student unable to hold-out and hold-it-down, but conversely, you’re not an institutionalized quadrupalegic patiently waiting to be serviced when your time finally arrives. So here’s the deal… you’re young and this is a time of learning and experiencing life. Be reasonable… save and splurge every now and again. Throw up those ankles and let somebody dig you out every so often and know that it’s okay….so long as the entire basketball team ain’t plowin’ your fields. Otherwise, you’ll be disappointed to find that you’ve “delayed” gratification for so long that you’ve also delayed your development and nothing appears as gratifying anymore. Part of gratification is being able to partake in something/someone within a reasonable time from when you actually craved or wanted it – otherwise, it’s pointless.

TheBlacks said...

I'm going to buy you a drink this weekend.

life said...

Everything in moderation my friend

kennyking78 said...

I applaud you for many of your decisions. I,too, have been of the mind of playing it safe and preparing for the future. I learned early on that there were things that I had to be strict about (money and the decisions I made with it) and a relationship with God. Those two things kind of kept everything else (party time, sex, etc.) in check. I allowed everything to fall into its place.

The reason why everyone wants every thing so fast is because literally everything is available to us right away nowadays.

You keep doing what you are doing though, as long as it works for you. When you start reaping all of the rewards you will be smiling from ear to ear!

WiseYoungMan said...

I tried for about 8 months. You know what I realized, that its so sad to realize that most people are only worth a fuck, if that.